Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grilled Flatbread with Beef, White Bean Puree and Sun-Dried Tomato Chutney

Normally I'm not a fan of Bobby Flay. And I'm not sure how I found this recipe, but when I read it, I decided to give it a try. Gotta give Food Network's grill master at least one try before I completely count him out. I personally think he could've came up with a better name for this meal than simply listing out the ingredients. But nonetheless, here it is:

Grilled Flatbread with Beef, White Bean Puree and Sun-Dried Tomato Chutney

1 - 8 oz. beef tenderloin (I used two tenderloins)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

White Bean Puree:
1 cup cooked white beans, plus 1/4 cup cooking liquid or 1 - 15 oz. can white beans, slightly drained
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. lemon juice
1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves
Salt & pepper

Sun-Dried Tomato Chutney:
6 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and julienned
2 Tb. olive oil
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/4 chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 cups warm water (105 - 110 degrees F)
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tb. olive oil, plus more for bowl

4 roasted shallots, sliced thin

To roast shallots on the grill: place the shallot in the center of a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring the edges of the foil together and scrunch to seal tightly. Place on a hot grill, close the cover and "roast" for 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Remove the skin and slice.

For flatbread: Mix water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes to proof. Gradually pour in 2 cups of the flour and stir to incorporate. Mix for about 1 minute to form a sponge. Let stand, covered, for at least 1 hour.

Put sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, add the salt and oil, then add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a dough. Remove from bowl and knead. Place in a clean oiled bowl and let rise, slowly, about 2 1/2 hours. Divide dough into 4 balls, if desired, let rise again for 1/2 hour and then roll out as desired.

For beef: combine meat, olive oil, and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.Preheat the grill to high. Grill on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes, for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then slice thinly.

Puree the beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and thyme in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, honey and parsley. I ended up just using dried parsley. So I used half the amount the recipe suggests. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat grill to high.

Flatten flatbread dough and gently press into a large rectangle ad throw on the grill. Grill on 1 side until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill, turn over and spread each flatbread with a thin layer of white bean puree, sliced beef, roasted shallots and tomato chutney. Return to grill, close cover and cook 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Fanciest pizza I ever did see.

So this meal seems pretty involved. It's actually not too hard to make, just a lot of steps. I made the tomato chutney and white bean spread ahead of time so that it was ready to go that night. I also made the flatbread dough ahead of time and just kept it covered with saran wrap in the refrigerator until I was ready to roll it out. Of course the marinating takes planning ahead.

When I was ready to make the meal, the meat definitely took longer than the 3 to 4 minutes on each side that recipe suggests. Granted, I like my meat a little more well-done than rare. The flatbread, once rolled out, took no time at all to cook. I ended up making 4 flatbread and each one was about half the size of a baking sheet. With all the ingredients piled on each flatbread, it was more than enough for one person.

So this meal didn't turn out as mouth-watering yummy as I had anticipated. The white bean puree got a little lost as the base. To me, it almost blended in with the bread so much, that it tasted a little like I was eating raw flour on the bread. A part from the bread though, the puree was delicious! The tomato chutney definitely gives this meal the flavor kick with the sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. There might have been a little more flavor and texture difference if I had used fresh parsley instead of dried. The meat was a very tender piece of meat. And even though it got cooked to well-done, it wasn't try at all.

Again, with the flatbread being so big, it was a little awkward to eat. You could eat it like a pizza or cut into it with a fork and knife. Wes did the former. I did the latter. If I were to make this meal again, I might even plate the different elements differently which might enhance the dish a little more for me.

Overall, not a bad meal. But not one that stands out as being amazing. It definitely takes a lot of planning and it helps if you make things ahead of time. I'd have to say that Bobby Flay is 0 and 1 in my book for his recipes. But not a bad meal to try if you're looking for a fancy, impressive meal.

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